Taco Bell – Dunkel Road

1 01 2010
  • 3000 Dunkel Road
  • Lansing, MI 48910
  • (517) 393-2800
  • Website
  • Menu

So, I must be on a quest to eat at every Taco Bell in Lansing or something.  I got out of work around 9:00 and headed to my hotel.  When I stay in Lansing, I almost always stay at the Red Roof Inn on Dunkel Road.  The closest restaurant is either Taco Bell or Subway.  Both are right down the street as part of the Sunoco gas station just off I-494.  I wanted something warm, so I chose Taco Bell.

Even though it was only 9:00, the counter was already closed.  If I wanted tacos, I would have to go through the drive thru.  In order to do that, you have to go all the way around the building.  I’ve documented many times why I hate drive thrus and this expereience was no difference. 

I pulled up to the speaker and waited.  The girl working started talking before she clicked the button, so I only heard half of what she said.  I just wanted tacos, so I clearly belted out my order of five crunchy tacos.  What I heard back was, “Nachos supreme?”  No, five crunchy tacos.  The second time, she got it and told me to pull around.  Read the rest of this entry »





Julie Joe’s

11 12 2009
  • 2515 E. Jolly Road
  • Lansing, MI 48910
  • (517) 977-9415
  • Website
  • Menu

Well, I made it to Lansing.  It only took me about 45 minutes longer than it normally does.  I left quite a bit earlier than I needed to….just in case.  I got to Lansing about an hour before I needed to be there, so I went looking for lunch.

For quite some time, I’ve tried to stopping at Julie Joe’s on Jolly Road near the Dunkel Road intersection.  It seems like every time I try, it’s closed.  They close for three and a half hours between lunch and dinner during the week, they don’t open until five on Saturday, and they’re not open on Sunday.  It seems like every time I’ve pulled into the small strip mall, it’s been one of those times. 

This time, I made it in time for lunch, so I knew they would be open.  The previous business in this location was 2Fer’s.  I never made it there before it was closed, so I have no idea how much has changed.  Both on their website and on an insert in their carry-out menu, they make note of the fact that they used to be 2Fer’s.  I have no idea what that means or why, but since they make a point to mention, I thought I should to. 

The menu at Julie Joe’s is much larger than I expected.  As expected, they have tacos and pizza, but they also do deli sandwiches, salads, and soups.  The shop is not very big.  There are a couple tables, but I have a feeling not many people dine in.  There was a counter area that I assumed would be filled with pizza, but when I walked it up to it, there was no pizza.  They do have ads for pizza-by-the-slice at lunch time.  Not sure if they have it keeping warm somewhere else or how that works.  I wasn’t in to pizza, so I didn’t ask. Read the rest of this entry »





Qdoba Mexican Grill – Delta Township

30 08 2009
  • 5415 W. Saginaw Highway
  • Lansing, MI 48917
  • (517) 977-0063
  • Website
  • Menu
Qdoba Mexican Grill on Saginaw Highway in Delta Township

Qdoba Mexican Grill on Saginaw Highway in Delta Township

I don’t think I need to tell you about our shopping patterns again….do I?  Of course, we were out in Delta Township and it was lunch time.  We weren’t in the mood to hunt out a sit down place and McDonald’s didn’t sound good either. 

I remember seeing a few months ago that Qdoba was moving into the space that used to be a Ya-Ya’s Chicken.  That was a while ago, so I assumed it was open. 

I’ve only eaten at Qdoba once in my life.  I used to work with a woman that loved it.  She would have lived inside Qdoba if they would have let her.  The closest one to us was forty minutes away, but if we were ever anywhere near it, I would have to take her for a burrito.  Only once did I actually eat lunch with her.  I wasn’t impressed, but I wasn’t turned off either. 

The newest Qdoba in the Lansing area is on Saginaw Highway across from the Lansing Mall.  Parking around the building isn’t great.  The entrance is actually on the side of the building and there are a few angled parking spots there.  If there’s a lot of traffic in the area of that strip mall, finding a close spot could be a challenge. 

The restaurant is set up sort of like a Subway.  There’s a counter where you order and it’s put together right in front of you.  I don’t like rice and it seems like all fast food Mexican likes to use rice filler.  Qdoba is no different.  That limits the options for me.  There were some things that sounded good, but I had a feeling it would be 90 percent rice and 10 percent meat.  Instead, I ordered three tacos.  Read the rest of this entry »





RG’s Ballpark Dogs & More

29 07 2009
  • 625 E. Michigan Avenue
  • Lansing, MI 48912
  • (517) 977-9079
  • No Known Website
  • Menu
RGs Ballpark Dogs & More on East Michigan Avenue in Lansing.

RG's Ballpark Dogs & More on East Michigan Avenue in Lansing.

I go to a lot of Lugnuts games and almost every game I go to, I walk right by a little Mexican/hot dog place on the corner of Michigan Avenue and Pere Marquette Street.  Sometimes, the restaurant is open, but most of the time, it’s not.  It seems like every time I walk by, I’m low on cash so I’ve never been able to stop in for a quick meal. 

I was downtown this afternoon for the Lugnuts Summer Family Fun day game.  When I walked by before the game, the store was open.  I didn’t eat at the park figuring I would take my chance and see if they were open when the game was over. 

After a dramatic ninth inning, two out comeback that fell just short, I started walking back towards my truck.  The door to the restaurant was open and there was one other person in.  The special board caught my eye, so I made a quick turn to see what this little corner shop was hiding.

RG’s Ballpark Dogs & More is about a block from Oldsmobile Park on the corner of Michigan Avenue and Pere Marquette right across the street from Clara’s.  I have no idea what the hours are or even if they have regular hours.  I’ve tried to see if they were posted somewhere on the window or door, but there’s nothing. 

The shop is very tiny.  When they are open, the front door is usually propped open.  When you enter the store, you have to take a step up to get to the order counter.  There is enough room for two small tables in the space next to the counter, but that’s about it.  On nice days, they pull at least one of these tables outside to the sidewalk which makes more sense.  Read the rest of this entry »





Fiesta Vallarta

7 06 2009
  • 6724 S. Cedar Street
  • Lansing, MI 48911
  • (517) 699-3691
  • Website
  • Menu
Fiesta Vallarta on South Cedar Street in Lansing.

Fiesta Vallarta on South Cedar Street in Lansing.

I always thought it would be great if there was a sit down restaurant that J and I could easily walk to.  When we moved here, the only choices were Ponderosa or Charlie Kang’s II.  We put off Ponderosa for a long time (and with good reason) and we’re not into any Asian cuisine.  When I saw work at the closed Charlie Kang’s, I had hopes that it would be someplace we might like.  When I saw the building being painted orange, there was no doubt a Mexican restaurant was moving in. 

For the last several weeks, we passed by hoping to see signs of life inside or at least a “coming soon” side.  On Thursday, we saw the “open” sign lighted up and by the time we finished running errands, there was a huge “now open” banner on the side of the road.   It was just a matter of time before we stopped in for lunch.

Fiesta Vallarta is on South Cedar Street almost underneath I-94.  It takes the spot that used to be Charlie Kang’s II.  I never went in that business, but  I never saw cars out front.  I’ve seen more cars in the last four days at Fiesta Vallarta than I did in almost a year at Charlie Kang’s.

I’m not 100% on the story behind the business.  When I got home, I typed http://www.fiestavallarta.cominto my browser.  What popped up was a website for a Fiesta Vallarta in California.  The menu was nothing like this one in Lansing, but the logo’s were very, very close.  Turns out, I typed the address wrong.  It’s actually a .mx address, but it’s http://www.fiestavallarta.com.mx.  So, I don’t know if there’s a relationship, coincidence, or an homage to the California restaurant.

We found a parking spot in front of the building, but there’s also parking in back and along the side.  The door is accessible from both the front and back lots.  When we got inside, we came to a waiting area with a cash register.  There was a waiter who handed us two menus and told us to find a seat.  That seemed odd.  The next party that came in was shown to a table.  The party after that was treated like we were.  There was a pattern I’m not going to mention and just believe it was coincidence.  Read the rest of this entry »





Los Tres Amigos Express

26 05 2009
  • 730 N. Clippert St.
  • Lansing, MI 48912
  • (517) 324-9600
  • Website
  • Menu
Los Tres Amigos Express near the Frandor Shopping Center.

Los Tres Amigos Express near the Frandor Shopping Center.

J rarely gets a holiday off, but this year, she actually got to celebrate Memorial Day.  We spent the morning running errands and ended up in East Lansing.  When it came time for lunch, I asked what she was in the mood for.  She said she didn’t care, but Mexican sounded good.  Last week, when we were in Frandor getting her ring sized, I noticed a Los Tres Amigos tucked into a tiny strip mall outside of the Frandor shopping center.  Since we had to head back that way, it’s what I chose for lunch.

Los Tres Amigos Express is on Clippert Street between Saginaw and Grand River.  It’s easy to miss if you’re not looking for it and it took a few times around the block to get in the right parking lot.  Once we did get parked, we questioned whether this was a sit down restaurant or a take out.  You can’t see anything from the door, but once we got inside, we found tables along with an order counter, so you can sit an eat. 

While there is an order counter, we were told to take a seat and the waiter would be right over.  Los Tres Amigos Express isn’t really decorated like a Mexican restaurant.  It’s pretty bland and could pass for just about any take out place.  It looks like you used to order your food directly from the kitchen and kind of did the assembly line thing, but that’s not the case anymore.  We grabbed a table and looked over the paper menus on the table while our waiter got the Cokes and we snacked on the complimentary chips and salsa.  I really like Los Tres’ salsa.  It’s a smooth salsa that’s got a little bit of a kick.  It’s kind of a happy medium between what I like and what J likes.  Read the rest of this entry »





Handy’s Food Market

30 04 2009
  • 424 W. Willow Street
  • Lansing, MI 48906
  • (517) 482-1156
  • No Known Website
Handys Food Market on Willow Street in Lansing.

Handy's Food Market on Willow Street in Lansing.

Handy’s Food Market is on Willow Street at the corner of Chestnutt.  It’s a really small building with just a little bit of street parking.  There were already three or four cars parked out front, so I had to go down the street a little ways to find a spot. 

Like I already mentioned, there isn’t a lot of room in the store.  There’s one shelf that runs through the middle of the store and divides the space in to two.  With the aisles that are left, there’s not enough room for two people to pass by comfortably. 

I found the spice section I was looking for, but again, couldn’t find what I was looking for.  I found whole ancho chile’s, but no powder.  Before I left, I also noticed some hanging above the counter, but still, no ancho chile powder. 

I didn’t look around too much, but the rest of the store was filled with staples of the Mexican pantry.  There was also a case up front that had some prepared food that looks like it just needed to be heated up again.  I didn’t ask questions and there wasn’t a whole lot of room to move. Read the rest of this entry »





Taco Bell – Trowbridge Rd

27 04 2009
  • 1051 Trowbridge Road
  • East Lansing, MI 48823
  • (517) 333-9644
  • Website
The Taco Bell on Trowbridge Road in East Lansing.

The Taco Bell on Trowbridge Road in East Lansing.

Fast food is almost never my first choice, but when it is, there is one place J and I can usually agree on.  This particular scenario came up Saturday morning.  I was working at Spartan Stadium for the MSU spring football game.  When it came time for lunch, J came to pick me up so I wouldn’t lose my parking spot.  I was worried about rain and only had about 45 minutes by the time she got there, so I figured sitting down was out of the question.  If the sky’s opened up, I wanted to get back in a hurry to get my gear covered and out of the elements. 

The night before, we debated between pizza and tacos for a late night run and pizza won out.  Since we both had the taco craving, we headed for the border.

The closest Taco Bell that I could think of is on Trowbridge Road in East Lansing near the US 127 interchange.  We headed back that way and made the left turn into the somewhat small parking lot.  At first, I wondered if we could even turn there, but there looks to be a cutout in the median just for the purpose of going to Taco Bell. Read the rest of this entry »





Andy’s Mexican & Ameican Deli

20 04 2009
  • 2102 N. Aurelius Road
  • Holt, MI 48842
  • (517) 268-0051
  • No Known Website
  • Menu
Andys Mexican & American Deli on North Aurelius Road in Holt

Andy's Mexican & American Deli on North Aurelius Road in Holt

Finally!  I think I’m probably the last person in the South Lansing/Holt area to grab lunch at Andy’s Mexican & American Deli in Holt.  We’ve tried a couple times and even got up early yesterday to try and get lunch before I had to be to work at 2:00.  When I called to make sure they were open, I got an answering machine saying Andy changed his hours and was closed on Sunday. 

Last night, J and I decided it was time to clean out our closet.  We ended up filling six garbage bags with clothes we haven’t worn since we moved here.  Since we were going out in the rain to drop them off at Goodwill, we thought we’d double back to Holt and stop in to Andy’s for lunch.

Andy’s Mexican & American Deli is on North Aurelius Road in Holt.  It’s actually located inside Brower’s Foods & Hardware.  It takes up the space that used to be Big T’s Extreme Deli.  When we walked into the store, Andy was at the cash register chatting with the lady from the hardware store.  Still, he greeted us like he knew we were there for food.  We made our way back to his part of the store and started looking over the menu posted on the counter.  We were told that the taco lunch was the special for today.  I was going to get taco’s anyway, but I didn’t want the rice and beans that come with it.  I never end up eating them and there was an option for tacos a la carte, so that’s what I did. I ordered three, but he must have mistook what I said and only made two.  He only charged for two, so no big deal.  Sometimes, I think it’s me.  My orders get screwed up every so often and I’m pretty sure it’s because I’m not clear.  Even J says she has a hard time understanding me from time to time. Read the rest of this entry »





El Oasis Antojitos Mexicanos – Michigan Avenue

13 04 2009
  • 2501 E. Michigan Avenue
  • Lansing, MI 48912
  • No Known Phone Number
  • No Known Website
  • Menu (sorta)
El Oasis Mexican stand on East Michigan Avenue in Lansing.

El Oasis Mexican stand on East Michigan Avenue in Lansing.

After a long day at work and only a few hours of sleep, I was on the hunt for something to eat quickly so I could get to bed as soon as possible.  The first thing that popped in my head was Mexican.  I’ve been wanting to try a new place in Holt located in Brower’s Hardware.  When I got there, there was a sign on the cash register that the owner had to make an emergency run to the hospital for a family member and they were not open.  I then drove back out to Jolly Road to try Julie Joe’s for a second time.  Note on the door that they were closed for Easter (this was Saturday, not Easter Sunday).  The last place I could think of where I could get Mexican food quickly was El Oasis on Michigan Avenue.  The thing that really sucks is that if I had just picked that first, I wouldn’t have had to drive all the way back out there.

El Oasis is a cart that set up shop in a parking lot on the corner of East Michigan and North Francis Avenues.  They have another location inside Tony’s Party Store on Cedar Street (review HERE)which we tried last summer and had some problems with.  They got our order totally wrong and J ended up with ground beef, which she doesn’t eat, on her tacquitos and I ended up with her chicken on my tacos.  We had to trade dishes and I’m not a fan of avocado, sour cream, or raw tomatoes, so, needless to say, we weren’t very impressed. Read the rest of this entry »








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